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Nish Kumar: Back with a New Show - review

Apr 24, 2016 Theatre




It’s opening night for Nish Kumar, and in a repeat of last year, it’s a sell out show.

“I’m trying to play it really cool” he says at the end of his set. Ironically, an hour beforehand, he opened with another tale of trying to ‘play it cool’. In a fitting tribute to the loss of a musical icon, Kumar tells the story of the time he went to see Prince, and in a fit of glorious and euphoric anticipation, burst into a flood of uncontrollable tears.

But it’s not long before Kumar digs into the meat of his set, launching into a series of sharp and witty political tirades: Friends is not a ‘working class sitcom’, dungaree-clad hipsters are not at fault for gentrification, the world is not run by a figment of David Icke’s imagination, and apparently, racism has a surprising amount in common with cricket.

Kumar might be overbearingly political to some (he was dismissed by his own mother as a “left-wing comic”). But even for the least politically inclined, there’s little chance you won’t chuckle at his deftly delivered punchlines. Kumar’s comedy is far from confrontational, and his show exhibits that rare blend of hilarity and intelligence all comics should strive for. His skills in observation are undeniably praiseworthy, but it’s his ability to extrapolate both a moment of laughter and a nugget of hard truth that truly stands second-to-none.

Back With A New Show, April 23-May 7, The Classic. Book tickets.

Video: Nish Kumar gives us a tour of MOTAT


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